In 2021 Avanza Innovations was piloting its KYC banking solution in Pakistan, two years later, Pakistan Banks’ Association (PBA), on behalf of all its member banks, signed the project contract for the development and execution of Pakistan’s first, blockchain based, national eKYC banking platform with the Avanza Group.
Avanza Group’s eKYC platform, ‘Consonance’, is being implemented for PBA. The platform will use blockchain technology through which banks will be able to standardize and exchange, with customers’ consent, their details via a decentralized and self-regulated network. This will be a support platform for Pakistan’s banking industry and all participating member banks will be able to perform assessments of their existing, as well as new customers, by utilizing information/ data available with any other bank on ‘Consonance’.
In 2021 Avanza was piloting the EKYC blockchain enabled platform with three big banks. In an interview Waqas Mirza, Founder and CEO of Avanza Innovations notes, “ “We are launching the EKYC Blockchain enabled platform initially for three of the biggest banks in Pakistan under the auspices of Pakistan Banks Association (PBA) and in-line with the guidance of State Bank of Pakistan. The eventual goal is to roll out this National EKYC platform to all banking and financial institutions in Pakistan.”
He had noted at the time that it is always recommended to start with a pilot and limited number of participating entities before scaling.
In the latest announcement Mirza stated, “The Standardization and anomaly detection of Customer’ KYC details is just the first use case in this journey. In the future, the same platform can be enhanced to share Trade Finance related details, digital exchange and verification of banking documents, digital cheque clearing and many more. Avanza is very proud to implement the first building block of this multi-year journey that will greatly benefit the industry as well as end customers.”
Mentioning trade finance, digital cheque clearing is paramount because it is what put Avanza on the map in the UAE as well as Bahrain and other places.
Avanza had rolled out the National EKYC platform for BENEFIT in Bahrain back in 2021. At the time Mirza had stated that GCC region has been our best partner for experimenting and implementing blockchain solutions and now we are replicating these solutions in neighboring countries.
Avanza Group had started its blockchain projects in the UAE and GCC region. Avanza was the technology partner for UAE Trade Connect Project. Blockchain UAE Trade Connect platform, the UAE’s first trade finance platform to combat fraud has 11 UAE banks on its platform and was the UAE’s first commercialized solution to combat fraud in the trade finance space built on advanced technologies, namely blockchain and Artificial Intelligence (AI). UTC is a collaborative project of the banking industry and co-created with e& enterprise.
With the advent of the Invoice Factoring law recently published by the Federal Government of the UAE, the UTC blockchain platform was a key enabler for banks to increase lending to SMEs and allow corporates to borrow against their trade receivables.
In December 2021, the UAE Blockchain AI enabled UAE Trade Connect trade finance had processed 10 Billion AED (2.7 billion USD) worth of invoices during the first eight months of its operation. Etisalat Digital launched UTC trade Finance platform in April of 2021 alongside seven banks within the UAE.
In early 2022, Abu Dhabi Commercial Bank joined UTC platform as did Dubai Islamic Bank. At that time UTC had in total nine banks on its roster. The founding banks included First Abu Dhabi Bank (FAB), RAKBANK, Emirates NBD, Commercial Bank of Dubai, National Bank of Fujairah, Mashreq Bank, ADIB – Abu Dhabi Islamic Bank, and Commercial Bank International.
The experience and reputation Avanza gained from both projects in Bahrain and UAE spurred the growth to other countries and continents.
Avanza Innovations, part of Avanza Group has also worked with multiple other UAE governmental entities on Blockchain projects. Entities include DP World, Dubai Chamber of Commerce, Dubai Customs, RTA, Dubai Police and others.
Waqas Mirza, Founder and CEO of Avanza Innovations in an interview in 2021 mentioned the work Avanza was doing in Saudi Arabia. He discussed working on a Blockchain Invoice verification with a well renowned company. He at the time stated, “We have won a project as one of the subcontractors working on an invoice verification solution built on Hyperledger. The client is utilizing this solution to ensure seamless procurement and payment procedures with its suppliers.”
In conclusion, Avanza Innovations a UAE blockchain solution provider has used UAE’s Blockchain strategy and commitment to innovation to grow well beyond its roots. This is a lesson to many blockchain and crypto entities that are setting up in UAE, the limits are endless.